WILLIAM EAGLESON GORDON "COLONEL GORDON"



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AN HEIR OF SCOTLAND AND FAR BEYOND


William Eagleson Gordon was the older brother of Major A. A. Gordon, and first child of Dr William Gordon and Emily Dick.  Willem was born on 4 May 1866 in Haymount house at Bridge of Allan, Scotland.


After William's father unexpectedly died in January 1873 at the age of 42, his mother Emelia “Emily” Mackenzie Gordon moved the family for a year’s stay to Lausanne, Switzerland between 1879 and 1880. Here Colonel and Major Gordon met with the famouse Major General Charles George Gordon CB and his brother Major General Sir Henry William Gordon.  Williams fellow students in Lausanne were Sir Henry W. Gordon sons Albert Edward Gordon and Robert Franklin Gordon. “Chinese Gordon” thought the Sunday’s class for several weeks, met with the children on Lake Geneva and later returned to England.


Although both families share the same surname, they are not relatives. After the Gordon family of Colonel Gordon return to England he and Major Gordon finished high school and were later sent to London to finish their studies. Afterwards, Colonel and Major Gordon went their own way in life.



MILITARY CAREER


William failed the entry exam at Sandhurst and as a result, joined a Scottish Militia. Afterwards, he has commissioned a Second Lieutenant in the Gordon Highlanders regiment and was sent to Malta and Ceylon.  From there he had the most gallantry career serving in the Chitral and Nothern Frontier campaigns and the Second Boer War in which he became dangerously wounded during the Battle of Magersfontein and later earned the Victoria Cross for his actions in the Battle of Dwarsvalei on 11 July 1900. He received the award from the late Field Marshal Earl Horatio Herbert Kitchener KG, KP, GCB, OM, GCSI, GCMG, GCIE, PC on June 2, 1902, in Pretoria. After his return to England, he became a member to the Naval and Military Club (The In & Out) in 1903 in which he joined his good friend and fellow officer the late Sir Ernest Beachcroft Beckwith Towse, VC, KCVO, CBE who already was a member since 1896. Colonel Gordon accompanied his brother Major Gordon to the opening ceremony of the Queen Victoria School at Dunblane on September 28, 1908, where King Edward VII presented the MVO to Major Gordon for his involvement in funding the school.


MARIAGE AND CHILDEREN


Colonel Gordon became an ADC to the King in 1913 and was given the rank of Brevet-Colonel the same year. During the year, he received his son Colin Mackenzie Blair Gordon with his Irish wife Margaret Katherine Blair who he had married in 1910. Ironically, his brother Major Gordon also married a girl from Ulster this being Lizzie Maude Smith, twin-daughter of the late Major General Edmund Davidson Smith and Mary Mathilda Cooke-Collis from castle Cooke in Cork, Ireland. Lizzie’s brother was the late Rear-Admiral Edmund Hyde Smith.


FIRST WORLD WAR


Colonel Gordon entered the First World War in august 1914, was forced by his commanding officer Lieutenant Colonel Francis Hugh Neish to surrender, and was later imprisoned at Fort Zinna. During his imprisonment at the officer’s camp, Major Charles Allix Lavington of the 2nd Kings Own Yorkshire Light Infantry took his own life after multiple escape attempts, earning him the Victoria Cross posthumously. In January 1916, Colonel Gordon was exchanged with the German Aristocrat Prince Salm Salm, returned in bad health to England and received his daughter Valerie Gloria Jean Blair Gordon the year after. After the war he sued, his former commander (Lt. Col. Neish) in a libel case after a slander article and afterwards had to defend himself during a Court of Enquiry. In 1933, he lost his son Colin M. B. Gordon, who at the time was commissioned a 2nd Lieutenant in his father’s regiment (Gordon Highlanders), during a racecar event at Donington Park.


DEATH


On November 4, 1940, around 7.40 p.m., a German Aeroplane bombed the Piccadilly Square. A bomb fell on 42 Half Moon Street and another on 94 Piccadilly. One bomb destroyed the ladies sitting-room on the upper west wing together with a Drawing room and penetrated the front hall of the Club while the other destroyed the top two floors where the residential chambers where located. Fifteen-Year-Old pageboy John Williamson and the young Peter Brabbs accompanied by two other men on duty rushed themselves from the cellar to the street. There they found the two club members Colonel W.E. Gordon and Major F. G. Crozier of the Royal Engineers trapped in the ruins. Hours later, both men were freed from underneath and rushed to a hospital. Colonel Gordon suffered from shock and superficial injuries. Shortly after his arrival in the hospital, Major Grozier succumbed to his wounds. Colonel Gordon remained in the hospital until he also succumbed to his wounds on March 10, 1941.


He is buried in St Albans Churchyard, Hindhead, Surrey.




GORDON FAMILY TREE


Peter of Ballee                         William of Ballyskeagh 1697 - ?


x                                                   x


Mary Boak                                Mary Ross


                                                             

                                                  Aaron Gordon                                            William Gordon (1738 - 1831)                  Margaret Gordon                           Mary Gordon

                                                                                                                                                                                            x

                                                 Margaret Boak (1744 - 14/11/1837)                                                                                 .... Martin



Elizabeth(... - 1839)         Aaron(1781 - 8/10/1844)       Robert of Stragollen (1774- 7/9/1850)         William(..- ./1/1837)          Mary

                                                                                                                   X 19/04/1809

                                                                                              Ellen Eagleson (1786 - 21/09/1860)



George (22/6/1824 - 4/6/1896)   William(15/5/1812 - 25/2/1814)      Aaron  (17/5/1814 - 29/1/1860)     Matilda An (1/11/1817 - 1863)    William E. (4/6/1831-15/1/1873)      Elizabeth     Robert (4/6/1823 - 23/7/1823)      Margaret (5/5/1810 - 1816)       Ellen (1827 - 1899)     Robert (1830 - 1883)
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                X (1)Marion Hay Forbes

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                X (2) Emelia M. Dick


                                                                                                                                                                                                          William Eagleson       Archibald Alexander    Robert Aaron        Emily Mackenzie       Helen Isabelle

                                                                                                                                                                                                                           x                                       

                                                                                                                                                                                                          Maragaret Katherine Blair    

                                                                                                                                                             

                                                                                                                                                                                      Collin Mackenzie            Valerie Gloria Jean Blair